On This Day

Jorge Luis Borges

Writer Jorge Luis Borges

Profession: Writer


Why Famous: The Argentine writer, regarded as one of the greats of 20th century literature wrote short stories, often fantastical, poems and lectures. Some of his most famous work include "Ficciones" (1944), "The Book of Imaginary Beings" (1967) and "The Aleph" (1970)

Unknown internationally until 1961 when he share shared a literary prize with Samuel Beckett, Borges reputation immediately rose and did much to focus attention on literature from South America.

Born: August 24, 1899
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Virgo

Died: June 14, 1986 (aged 86)
Cause of Death: Liver cancer

Biography: Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) was an Argentinean writer of short stories, poems and literary criticism. His fantastical and densely symbolic stories, written in a rigorous and economical style, have earned him a reputation as one of the finest writers to come out of Latin America.

Borges’ stories often deal with philosophical themes such as time, eternity, the nature of personal identity and mystical experience. In such speculations Borges draws from the idealism of Berkeley and Schopenhoer, which describes reality as consisting only of minds and ideas. In the hands of Borges these ideas were a tool for exquisite fiction, colored by his favorite images of labyrinths, tigers and infinite libraries.

In addition to his metaphysical concerns, Borges also wrote several stories about the land of his birth, Argentina, and its Wild West mythology of gaucho knife fighters and their brutal lives.

Although Borges’ most famous collections (Fictions, The Aleph) were published in the 1920s and ‘30s he did not attract international critical and literary acclaim until their translation into English in the ‘50s and ‘60s. After this sudden literary celebrity, Borges continued to publish new work even as his eyesight dwindled into blindness. (OnThisDay.com)

Married Life

  • 1967-08-04 Writer Jorge Luis Borges (67) weds old friend Elsa Astete Millán
  • 1986-04-26 Writer Jorge Luis Borges (86) weds author Maria Kodama (49) in Paraguay

Famous Authors